The first time I watched a John Green Crash Course video, I was hooked. I had recently been assigned to teach a Social 9 class that I had never taught before and was outside of my teaching area. I needed to teach the class about Ancient Egypt and wanted something more interesting than having the students copy notes off the board.
Here was a guy who could explain the information in a more entertaining method than I could, and it was so easy to access with just a few clicks on the computer.
This had me wonder, is this information really worth teaching and having the students “memorize” if access to the answers is only one step away?
This questions takes us to the crux of the issue, for this class and education as a whole, what should we be teaching to our students?
At the base level, teachers have to teach outcomes from the curriculum. However, the methods of teaching that information can be left up to the professionalism of the individual. Therefore, the preferred method I would like to move towards exists in the Redefinition of the SAMR Model. In my opinion, the age of having students memorize facts for a test is dead. The knowledge is lost as soon as the students finish the exam, because it holds no importance in their lives. Why remember something if Siri could give you the answer in 8 seconds? Instead, we must strive to find ways to give the students the information and have them APPLY the knowledge, rather than just regurgitate it.
This application of knowledge can best be accomplished using the technology that is available to teachers in most classrooms. As Kyla Ortman says in her blog post, “We have the power to lead and show students a variety of technological apps and resources to help benefit their learning.”
But these benefits and efficient uses of technology will not come together easily. In order to reimagine the best type of learning for our students, we must put in the work to create meaningful assignments and will be willing to abandon the trademarks of our past assessments. Only then can we become the teachers we hope to be.